Common sense from a Democrat: “Washington vs. Energy Security”

This editorial was actually written by former Democratic Congressman Harold Ford, Jr…

MAY 11, 2011

Washington vs. Energy Security

Even former President Clinton calls the Obama administration’s deep water drilling policy ‘ridiculous.’

By HAROLD FORD, JR.
When President Obama introduced his energy plan in March, he pointed out that the U.S. keeps going “from shock to trance on the issue of energy security, rushing to propose action when gas prices rise, then hitting the snooze button when they fall again.”

It’s true that since the Nixon administration U.S. leaders have all made the same commitment to cutting our reliance on foreign oil, finding reliable sources of clean energy, and keeping energy prices low. Yet Americans keep hearing only short-term solutions and narrowly focused rules and regulations. The U.S. still imports more than half its oil, gasoline prices are at historic highs, and consumers are paying the price.

One bipartisan policy tradition is to deny Americans the use of our own resources…

[…]

Here are a few steps to take:

First, let’s conduct a comprehensive review of existing policies, rules and restrictions and root out any that needlessly hamper energy production at home…

[…]

Second, let’s develop the skills we need to find new and better ways to recover domestic supplies of energy—and to develop next-generation fuels to secure the future. That means encouraging more students to study math, science and other disciplines this industry needs.

And third, let’s stop demonizing Big Oil to score political points…

[…]

Mr. Ford, a former Democratic congressman from Tennessee, is a professor at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service.

WSJ

 “One bipartisan policy tradition is to deny Americans the use of our own resources”…

Obama & Boot also took oil shale leases off the table In 2009. The USGS estimates that the Green River Oil Shales, alone, have 8 to 12 trillion barrels of oil in place… 1.4 trillion of which is likely to be recoverable.

If I take 80 billion bbl of the undiscovered resources on the map above and assume that they were developed at the time they were placed off limits and add in 120 billion barrels of oil shale recovered from 2022 to 2100, this is what US oil production would look like…

Bear in mind that I am using less than the US Gov’t estimate (116 billion bbl) of undiscovered conventional oil resources. Past history tells us that the oil industry routinely finds and produces 4-6 times as much oil as the gov’t thinks we will find and produce.

Am I being overly optimistic in projecting more than 15 million barrels per day (BOPD) of production from oil shales by 2100?

The hydrocarbon characteristics of the the oil shales of the Green River formation in the Piceance Basin are superior to those of the Athabasca oil sands. The hydrocarbon areal density is about 13 times that of the Athabasca deposits.

Source

Canada is currently producing ~ 1 million barrels of oil per day from Athabasca oil sand deposits. They expect to increase that to 2 million barrels per day over the next decade. The Green River oil shale deposits in the Piceance basin could easily outperform Athabasca within a decade and with a much smaller environmental footprint.

Athabasca oil sands are currently economically competitive with the OPEC basket. Green River formation oil shales are superior, by a wide margin, to Athabasca oil sands. The Green River oil shales would yield 100,000 bbl of 38° API sweet refinery feed per 160,000 tons of ore & overburden. Athabasca oil sands yield 100,000 bbl of 34° sweet refinery feed per 430,000 tons of ore & overburden. The unconventional oil is actually very light and very sweet; the OPEC Basket is actually heavier (32.7° API).

Athabasca is economically competitive now. Green River could be economically competitive now. Peak oil my @$$. The only obstacles are environmental terrorists… I mean activists… and the US government.

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3 Responses to “Common sense from a Democrat: “Washington vs. Energy Security””

  1. Pascvaks Says:

    There are Democrats and there are socialists (or worse) who call themselves Democrats. Ford has always been a Democrat and nothing but. Probably why he’s no longer in the House or in the current Administration. To the casual observer there has been no real change in the political weather or climate of the country. Day to day life seems just as it always has. It’s much the same circumstance that happened a number of years ago in education; where I personally put the fatal change there as starting ~1961. As was true then, everything now seems AOK, except for those noisy, stupid alarms blareing in your ears, and until you’re house is sucked up into a CAT 9 tornado. Go figure! (I guess there’s more to Marx than geology;-) Who knew?

  2. Dean Says:

    The Green River Oil Shale contains kerogen, an oil precurser – not oil. Much of it is under private land and is already available to oil companies to lease if they want. They aren’t interested because they can’t make money on it – it takes too much energy to cook it into oil. Also the process takes a lot of water, and the water in that very dry area is already spoken for. It is a completely different situation than the Bakken or Eagle Ford formations, which actually contain oil that can be accessed by fracking.
    The Green River Oil Shale will never amount to anything – its main use appears to be to encourage energy investers to part with their money. Irrational exuberance and all.

    • David Middleton Says:

      The vast majority of the Green River Oil Shale of the Piceance Basin is under Federal control and largely unavailable for meaningful exploitation efforts. Only a fraction of these leases are open, and then only for RD&D…

      Secretary Salazar Finalizes Plan Promoting Responsible Oil Shale and Tar Sands Research, Demonstration and Development

      ——————————————————————————–

      BLM proposes revisions to commercial oil shale regulations to ensure fair return to taxpayer; will open 60-day public comment period

      03/22/2013

      Contact: Jessica Kershaw (DOI) 202-208-6416
      Amy Krause (BLM) 202-912-7236

      WASHINGTON – As part of President Obama’s strategy to continue to expand safe and responsible development of the nation’s energy resources, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the Department’s final plan for encouraging research, development and demonstration (RD&D) of oil shale and tar sands resources on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

      The Record of Decision and plan amendments make nearly 700,000 acres in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming available for potential oil shale leasing and about 130,000 acres available for potential tar sands leasing in Utah. In November 2012, the BLM signed two additional leases for RD&D oil shale proposals to encourage industry to develop and test technologies aimed at developing oil shale resources on a commercial scale.

      “This plan maintains a strong focus on research and development to promote new technologies that may eventually lead to safe and responsible commercial development of these domestic energy resources,” Secretary Salazar said. “It will help ensure that we acquire critically important information about these technologies and their potential effects on the landscape, especially our scarce water resources in the West.”

      As part of the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, domestic oil and gas production has grown each year the President has been in office, with domestic oil production currently higher than any time in two decades and natural gas production at its highest level ever.

      […]

      U.S. Dept. of Interior

       

      First the same old lie…

      “As part of the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, domestic oil and gas production has grown each year the President has been in office…”

      The rise is U.S. domestic oil and gas production over the last decade is not any “part of the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy.”

      The Maobama Maladministration has played no role whatsoever in that rise in oil and natural gas production, none, nada, zip…

      The only portion of U.S. domestic oil and gas production that is in any way part of Dear Leader Chairman Maobama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy is that from Federal mineral leases. Oil and natural gas production from Federal leases has been declining since at least 2010.

      With leasing activity subdued and permit approvals dragged out from 30-60 to more than 365 days, the ONRR revenue from the Gulf is at least $3 billion and more likely $10 billion lower that it should be.

      Leasing is down because most of the lease sales since 2010 were cancelled. Permits that used to take 30-60 days to approve, now take 6-24 months. The most recent sale, held last Wednesday, was one of the weakest Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sales in history. OCS 227 was the weakest Central Gulf sale in at least 10 years. It was weaker than the March 2009 sale in the aftermath of the financial crash, oil & gas price collapse and Hurricane Ike.

      Now for the energy idiocy…

      “Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the Department’s final plan for encouraging research, development and demonstration (RD&D) of oil shale and tar sands resources on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.”

      RD&D??? Good effing grief!!! Boot Salazar is perhaps the only person on the face of the Earth with less competence in energy economics than Al Gore.

      They continue to keep the potentially most prolific undeveloped hydrocarbon resource potential in the U.S (possibly the world) off limits to actual exploitation, while they p!$$ away hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars actually building solar, offshore wind and biofuels infrastructure that will cost energy consumers far more money for far less reliable sources of electricity and transportation fuels…

      The USGS estimates that the Green River Oil Shale of the Piceance Basin contains more than 1 trillion barrels of ***recoverable*** oil.

      The vast majority of this play is under Federal control and largely unavailable for meaningful exploitation efforts. Maobama & Boot actually rescinded the Bush administration decision to open this area up to actual exploitation prior to closing it off and then reopening some of the acreage to RD&D.

      The Green River Oil Shale in just the Piceance Basin of Colorado contains more than 1 trillion barrels of recoverable oil (kerogen).

      The kerogen is a waxy precursor of oil. It was long thought that mining was the only way to recover it. Shell recently demonstrated that the kerogen can be economically produced without having to mine it. Unlike all of the green schist foisted on the taxpayers by Enviromarxists, this play is both technically and economically exploitable now.

      Just imagine what would happen if the Federal gov’t wasn’t doing everything in its power (actually beyond its lawful powers) to impede domestic oil production…

      In my hypothetical production forecast, I projected Green River oil shale production to reach 15 million BOPD by 2096. Am I being overly optimistic in projecting more than 15 million barrels per day (BOPD) of production from oil shales by 2100? Shell estimates that they could be producing 500,000 barrels per day from the Picenance Basin with a very small footprint using an in situ recovery process…

      Technical Viability and Commercial Readiness (pp 18-24)

      Shell has tested its in-situ process at a very small scale on Shell’s private holdings in the Piceance Basin. The energy yield of the extracted liquid and gas is equal to that predicted by the standardized assay test.13 The heating energy required for this process equals about one-sixth the energy value of the extracted product. These tests have indicated that the process may be technically and economically viable.

      This approach requires no subsurface mining and thus may be capable of achieving high resource recovery in the deepest and thickest portions of the U.S. oil shale resource. Most important, the Shell in-situ process can be implemented without the massive disturbance to land that would be caused by the only other method capable of high energy/resource recovery—namely, deep surface mining combined with surface retorting. The footprint of this approach is exceptionally small. When applied to the thickest oil shale deposits of the Piceance Basin, drilling in about 150 acres per year could support sustained production of a half-million barrels of oil per day and 500 billion cubic feet per year of natural gas.

      […]

      Once oil shale development reaches the production growth stage, how fast and how large the industry grows will depend on the economic competitiveness of shale derived oil with other liquid fuels and on how the issues raised in Chapter Five are ultimately resolved. If long lead-time activities are started in the prior stage, the first follow-on commercial operations could begin production within four years. Counting from the start of the production growth stage and assuming that 200,000 barrels per day of increased production capacity can be added each year, total production would reach 1 million barrels per day in seven years, 2 million barrels per day in 12 years, and 3 million barrels in 17 years.

      Assuming a 12-yr lead time to reach the production growth stage, it will take ~30 years to reach 3 million barrels per day. If production continued to grow at a rate of 1 million BOPD every 5 years… Oil shale production from just the Piceance Basin could reach 15 million BOPD by the end of this century.

      The hydrocarbon characteristics of the the oil shales of the Green River formation in the Piceance Basin are superior to those of the Athabasca oil sands. The hydrocarbon areal density is about 13 times that of the Athabasca deposits. The Green River hydrocarbons are not technically “oil;” it’s a form of kerogen. But, for or refining purposes, it’s oil. It will be booked as oil, just like the Athabasca tar sand oil is. It’s a high-grade refinery feedstock…

      “Kerogen can be converted to superior quality jet fuel, #2 diesel, and other high value by-products.”

      Canadians are currently producing ~ 1 million barrels of oil per day from Athabasca oil sand deposits. They expect to increase that to 2 million barrels per day over the next decade. The Green River oil shale deposits in the Piceance basin could easily outperform Athabasca within a decade and with a much smaller environmental footprint.

      Athabasca oil sands are currently economically competitive with the OPEC basket. Green River formation oil shales are superior, by a wide margin, to Athabasca oil sands. The Green River oil shales would yield 100,000 bbl of 38° API sweet refinery feed per 160,000 tons of ore & overburden. Athabasca oil sands yield 100,000 bbl of 34° sweet refinery feed per 430,000 tons of ore & overburden. The unconventional oil is actually very light and very sweet; the OPEC Basket is actually heavier (32.7° API).

      Athabasca is economically competitive now. Green River could be economically competitive now. The only obstacles to US energy security are environmental terrorists and the U.S. government.

      “Peak Oil,” if it exists, won’t be reached for hundreds of years if the U.S. government would just get out of the way. About 80% of the most prospective Green River deposits are under Federal leases. The Obama administration effectively blocked exploitation of the Green River oil shale last year.

      We could actually have achieved “North American energy independence by 2020 if the voters had fired #OccupyWhiteHouse and put their Enviromarxist allies on a short leash.

      Unfortunately, a bit over 50% of the electorate this past year was composed of Marxists & morons.

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